This would be 3.5 stars, only because it's not my favorite genre and so it was a little tough to push myself through it.
Raphael and Gardo are trash boys. In the not-so-distant future of a unknown third world country, the poor children are forced to rummage through piles of heaping, stinking filth in hopes of finding something, ANYthing valubable that can help their families survive. Because most of the country is desperately poor, most of the trash is already picked-over by the time Raphael and Gardo go through it. But one day, Raphael finds a bag. And in the bag are some mysterious items: a key, a map, a photo and a wallet with ID in it and cash. He hides the valuable items (but shares it with Gardo) and quickly they discover that the police are searching for this bag, and have offered a generous reward to anyone who looks for OR finds the bag. They develop a plan for hiding the items and partner up with Rat (Jun-jun) another poor trash boy to help them conceal the evidence.
What follows is a pretty fast-paced mystery that uncovers murder, government corruption and greed.
The characters were likable, and I enjoyed the way each chapter was narrated by a different character in the story. It helped keep the pace fast and the mystery intriguing. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys futuristic books, also mysteries- and I think boys would especially enjoy these characters.